Oklahoma Artist Honors Native Americans With Hillside Sculptures In Hominy

Sunday, August 1st 2021, 7:40 am
By: Dustin Stone, Matt Rahn

HOMINY, Oklahoma -

For artist Cha' Tullis, a stack of old newspapers and magazines on his front counter represents years of memories.

"Sold my first original when I was two years old, got 5 dollars for it, got all the Hershey Chocolate a two-year-old could possibly buy, and got sicker than a dog and decided I wanted to do that for the rest of my life," said Tullis.

For decades, he's been filling his gallery in downtown Hominy with art.

“That's what all this is, it's a passion, and the action of passion," said Tullis.

Some of his work is too big for any gallery though, like one of his most famous works, "New Territory". 

"It was new territory for me because I had never done a sculpture before," Tullis said.

The 20-foot tall silhouettes have been standing over Hominy for over 20 years, but Cha' isn't quite ready to admit it's been that long.

"I'm not that old ... yeah it's been up there quite a while, let's just say that," he said.

Cha' says the idea for the sculptures was born when he saw a picture of his own work in a tourist magazine.

"In that photograph, that hill popped up and I went to bed that night after I read the article about the murals and had a dream to do that sculpture on the hill," he said.

Cha’ says the sculptures represent different Native American Tribes that have called this area home.

"The Osage were forced here and forced to purchase this piece of property, what we call the Osage Reservation ... so it was new territory for them," he said.

He says that history is important.

"You can't have Oklahoma History without having Native American History … I think it's the richest thing on mother earth, I think it's the most elaborate awesome story ever told," said Cha’.